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Students meet U.S. Surgeon General at awards ceremony

1/11/2013 —

Penn State Beaver students enrolled in the Introduction to Public Relations course met United States Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A. when they attended the Second Annual Southwestern Pennsylvania Media and Mental Health Awards ceremony held recently in Pittsburgh.

Benjamin, the country’s eighteenth Surgeon General, was the event’s keynote speaker and took time to meet with Beaver students and course instructor Rosemary Martinelli, lecturer in communications at the campus.

Produced by the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) in collaboration with Staunton Farm Foundation, the awards recognize accurate journalism coverage of mental health issues within television, radio, print, and online media in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The awards, presented at the Senator John Heinz History Center, recognize the impact of accurate media in changing attitudes and behaviors towards mental and behavioral health.

Benjamin’s keynote address focused on the new National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the importance of accurate dissemination of information to the public about suicide prevention. Benjamin led the federal effort to draft the new strategy.
More than 200 members of the media, as well as community leaders, attended the event. Other speakers included Senator Randy Vulakovich; Brian Dyak, president and CEO, EIC; Susan Brozek Scott, Pittsburgh Regional Director, EIC, and Joni Schwager, executive director, Staunton Farm Foundation.

EIC, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1983 by leaders of the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to bear on communication about health and social issues.

The Staunton Farm Foundation is dedicated to supporting mental health treatment and service for children, teens, and adults suffering from mental disorder in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

For information, contact Martinelli at rum31@psu.edu.

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